|Texas A&M Animal Science Professor Howard
The Texas horse industry, as well as professors
and students at Texas A&M University, are mourning the loss of Dr.
Howard Hesby, who died unexpectedly July 23. Dr. Hesby was boarding his
plane in the Bush International Airport, Houston, Texas, en route to the
American Society of Animal Science Annual meetings in Cincinnati, Ohio,
when he collapsed as he was placing his luggage in the overhead compartment
of the plane.
Hesby was born on October 25, 1943 in Arlington, South Dakota.
Since joining the Texas A&M's Department of Animal Science in 1971,
Hesby had taught or advised more than 15,000 undergraduate students. He
taught introductory animal science, careers, animal production, agribusiness
and equine science courses.
Dr. Larry Boleman, assistant deputy vice chancellor at Texas A&M,
said, “Dr. Hesby has meant so much to so many students, staff and
faculty throughout his 34-year career here in the animal science department
at Texas A&M.
“His life was all about caring and service, and his career revolved
totally around students to make them the best they could be. He is irreplaceable
in the department, and it would take four professors to accomplish his
daily routine of activities associated with the care of the Kleberg Center
and its students.”
Dr. Chris Skaggs, professor and one of Hesby’s colleagues in the
undergraduate student advising section, said, “It is impossible
to capture what Dr. Hesby meant to the animal science department, our
college and the university. I have never met a person with more genuine
care and concern for the individual student.”
Hesby touched the lives of students through teaching, advising, career
preparation and educational field trips, Skaggs said. He used his industry
contacts to secure internship and post-graduation job opportunities.
“He had the ability to make students feel at ease in his office
to discuss their hopes and dreams,” Skaggs said. “He got to
know them as individuals. I marveled at his ability to always bring out
the best in each student. Dr. Hesby epitomized Texas A&M at its finest.”
Agricultural broadcaster Roddy Peeples of Dallas, who hosted one of Hesby’s
career field trips, said, “I know that hundreds - probably thousands
- of students will remember him fondly, as I am sure the animal science
faculty will, and all the rest of us who had the privilege of knowing
him. He will truly be missed.”
Dr. Doug Hufstedler of Flint, nutritionist with Livestock Management
Consultants LLC and a former student, said, “There was never a life
connected with the animal science department that was not positively impacted
by the actions and/or words of Dr. Hesby. His influence for good will
be truly missed.”
Hesby earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from South Dakota
State University, and a master’s degree in animal nutrition and
doctorate in swine nutrition from Purdue University. He was a faculty
advisor to the Saddle and Sirloin Club and several other on-campus clubs.
He is survived by his wife, Kay; a brother and sister-in-law, Stanley
and Marylin Hesby of Voga, S.D.; an uncle, Lars Steinness of Seattle,
Wash.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27 at Peace Lutheran
Church, 2201 Rio Grande St., in College Station. A reception in the atrium
of the Kleberg Center at Texas A&M will be held immediately following
the services. Parking will be available in Lots 61 and 74 near Kleberg.
Burial will be in Voga, S.D.
The family is requesting that instead of flowers, donations be made to
a memorial scholarship fund. Checks should be made payable to the Texas
A&M Foundation. Donations can be mailed to the Howard Hesby Scholarship
Fund, Texas A&M University, Department of Animal Science, 2471 TAMU,
College Station, TX 77854-2471.